Saturday, March 13, 2010

EGG!!!! (Updated)

In the midst of the vicious wind and rain storm currently battering Philadelphia, the formel laid her first egg around noon today. Here she is sitting on her egg at 12:30PM.

John Blakeman has been watching the camera feed and comments:

"Couldn't see the egg, but the behavior sure was persistent and different.

I doubt that this is the tiercel. I think it has to be the formel on the nest. The tiercel just doesn't have the sitting motivation like the formel after she's laid an egg.

And notice that as I predicted, the bird is not jostling down and sitting tight on the egg. She's just keeping it covered, not really incubating yet. That'll start when the last egg is laid.

Could be only two eggs this year, because of the persisting snow and difficulty killing enough food during the snow.

Someone noted that the sitting haggard this morning (Sat., 13 March) looked a bit ragged.

That's because of the rains the previous night. I've explained earlier that the hawks spend a lot of time preening, distributing water-repelling oil from the oil gland on the rump to all the feathers of the body. Yet, in a soaking downpour, rain still penetrates some of the outer body feathers, and they tend to clump up in their soggy condition.

This is what made the haggard look "ratty." The downy insulating feathers beneath remain dry and warm. But for a while, the bird can look a bit disheveled. But it's quite normal, something the hawks deal with in heavy or persisting rains."

-- John Blakeman


  1. Yay! They did it! I'm wondering if mom purposely laid the egg in a more sheltered space in the nest. Ain't this great!

  2. So winter is really at an end! Well done to the hawks and I can't wait to watch their progress

  3. we're aunties again! sorry for the informal term